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Co-Leader Considerations

This year I recruited a co-leader to help lead my expanding small group. As we wade deeper into the waters of leading together, there are some considerations I’m thinking people need to think through as they find the right person to share responsibilities with. So far, we’ve had a great experience together. These are just some things that we’ve addressed as we dream about how leading together can look:

  • What (if any) is the break-in period before the new co-leader begins to teach
  • Does the co-leader teach or focus on other responsibilities
  • What values need to be communicated?
    • How much say the students have in what happens
    • Discipline procedures
    • Boundaries
    • Commitment to preparation and attendance
    • Regular debrief times
  • What responsibilities will he take off my plate?
    • Can he do them well?
    • Is he dependable?
    • Does he need direction?

Having a co-leader can be an amazing blessing, or a painful thorn in the side of a leader who will accept any warm body that comes along. I’ve been fortunate, so far. I honestly didn’t consider these questions before I brought Josh in. However, we’ve talked regularly and have complemented each other’s skill set nicely. I’m excited about being able to take a young aspiring leader under my wing while also having help leading my group.

Since I’m teaching small group on two nights this year, I’m looking for a co-leader to help me on the other night. I’ll for sure take these questions into consideration as I look for the person to help on Wednesdays. I love the new challenge of not only teaching students, but developing leaders. I believe all veteran youth workers do their ministries a huge favor by finding and developing leaders to serve alongside them. Eventually both of these leaders will have their own small groups. It’s an honor to help them get started.

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dennisbeckner@churchleaders.com'
Dennis Beckner has served in youth ministry leadership for Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, CA since 1999. Dennis is a contributor and speaker to youth training events, writing projects and other engagements. Contact him at his blog, VolunteerYouthMinistry.com.